View Full Version : How to create fresh Assured Tenancy
10-03-2009, 15:30 PM
I am a new landlord.
I told the tenants that I would issue an AST for 6 months in the first instance, with an opportunity for 1 year or more thereafter should the initial let be satisactory.
In this contract I inserted that it could continue beyond the 6 months date on a monthly basis until terminated by either party giving no less than 2 months notice.
However, three months have passed and I am now happy and would feel more secure to provide a one year to 20 month AST.
How do I go about this?
Do I obtain the initial contract and shred it whilst simultaneously issuing the new contract for a year or 18 months?
Or do both parties simply sign the new contract?
Is there any problem with providing an additional 12 -20 month AST contract?
Would it give the tenants unchallenged rights to become permanent?
I would appreciate advice.
10-03-2009, 15:37 PM
Before doing anything check your mortgage and insurance policy. Many (most?) mortgage companies insist on a maximum AST length of 12 months. Some insurance policies have similar clauses.
If you don't have a mortgage or your mortgage company / insurance company doesn't impose such restrictions then you can issue an AST up to 3 years without any extra work (apart from working out how you're going to handle rent increases during that time).
Over 3 years and you get into the realms of needing a solicitor. I think ASTs over 3 years are treated as deeds; but Jeffrey is better to comment on that than me. I can remember there's a reason why I wouldn't consider ASTS longer than 3 years, but I forget exactly what it is.
10-03-2009, 15:42 PM
Don’t be in a rush to tie yourself to your tenants for twenty months. Why would you want to do that - especially as you describe yourself as a new landlord? Have you read any of these fora? What if your circumstances change? Or your tenants become unsuitable for some reason?
Suggest that you decide at the end of the current tenancy.
I personally have not ever issued an AST agreement for more than one year. No matter how much I like the tenants.
Your tenants do not gain any kind of "permanency" with an assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
Keep it simple.
Where a tenancy goes into a periodic tenancy, i.e. month to month, the tenant is only bound to give one month's notice, to the end of a 'rental month', you have to give them two months notice. That's the law, you cannot change it by writing it into any document.
You would be best to wait until the first six months are finished, then offer the tenants a new contract, that gives them some security of tenure and you a fixed period of letting.
Provided everything is done properly the tenants will not gain any extra rights.
You have protected the deposit in a scheme I hope, if not, do it now, it's very important.
10-03-2009, 15:48 PM
I'd also recommend looking at joining a landlords association and becoming accredited (if that's an option where you are).
I've learned a helluva lot since joining the NLA (www.landlords.org.uk) and becoming accredited (www.landlordiaidcymru.org.uk)
10-03-2009, 15:49 PM
Thanks for the really speedy response.........much appreciated.
Basically, I drew up a 6 months lease with monthly extension possible therafter.
However, after only 3 months I am happy with the tenants and would like and be pleased for them to commit to a binding lease on an AST basis for anything from 12 to 20 months.
This would provide security for both parties. I would not have to seek new tenants and would have a guaranteed income for a longer period. They would have more security of tenure.
I assume that the above contract would have to be replaced as it permits either party to resile after 6 months.....but how to do this?
10-03-2009, 15:56 PM
My reply crossed with three other quick responses. Thanks again.
I have been caught out by the speed of reply!
I am keen on at least a years lease for the financial security, and being less problematic in finding good replacement tenants after the 6 months.
In addition I may be absent from the UK for a period around the renewal in June. So if I could tie it all up now, it is done and dusted.
How to replace the existing contract?
10-03-2009, 16:00 PM
You can draw up and sign a new contract (today if you want) even if the existing tenancy agreement has not yet come to an end. The new contract will replace the previous tenancy agreement from the new commencement date.
So long as the tenants are in agreement with you, there is nothing to stop you accepting their surrender of the old AST, and starting a new one the next day. Get it all documented though, and don't grant more than a year at a time.
10-03-2009, 16:06 PM
Just be aware that even previously good tenants breach their contracts, cause damage, stop paying rent, abandon properties or any combination thereof.
Out of interest, how long is this "absent from the UK" period?
10-03-2009, 16:37 PM
Many thanks to all contributors.
I was really surprised at the speed of the responses!
I can now act with confidence.
Poppy, I will be away for about 6-8 weeks. Re your other comments. Life has taught me how people can turn and bite you. Despite this I still get caught out from time to time. Not hard enough I suppose, despite the school of hard knocks. I still endeavour to accept everyone as genuine.
10-03-2009, 16:43 PM
Just wondered if it may warrant employing an agent. But I don’t think so.
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